Monday, 2 June 2014

Lemony Lentil Soup

Now that spring is here and summer is peeking around the corner, I find that I am craving lighter, vegetable rich foods.  Don't get me wrong, I still love a comforting bowl of pasta or a good Shepard's Pie once in a while.  But with all the beautiful vegetables finally waking up in the gardens and farmer's markets, I love seeing the colors of spring reflected in my supper.  Rich yellows, deep greens and the taste of earthy and satisfying lentils. The first time I had this soup, a mentor of mine, who also happened to be the mother of the Hollyhock chef who wrote the book, made it for me on a cloudy west coast afternoon.  I loved the combinations of the earthy lentils with the bright lemon and the satisfying greens.

This soup is super easy to make, delicious and kid approved.  It calls for a vegetable stock and I find that is this preferable to chicken.  If you have the time to make your own, I have also included the recipe below.  The thing I love about vegetable stock is how quick it is to make and that it will taste a thousand times better than the stuff in the store. 

 Lemony Lentil Soup
Adapted from Hollyhock Cooks by Linda Solomon and Moreka Jolar

3 Tbsp Olive oil
2 cups onion, diced
2 Tbsp garlic, minced
1 1/2 cups (about 4) carrots, diced
1 cup potato, diced
2 bay leaves, fresh or dried
1 cup red lentils
1 cup celery, diced
6 cups vegetable stock
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2 Tbs fresh dill, chopped
two good handfuls of chopped kale
salt and pepper to taste

 In a large soup pot with the olive oil, saute the onion, garlic, carrots, potatoes and bay leaves until onion is translucent and potato softens.

Rinse the lentils and add to the pot with the celery and the stock to cover.  Cook until lentils have softened, about 15-20 minutes.  Add the lemon juice, dill, salt and pepper. Stir in the kale and serve!  This is a wonderful meal with a good salad and crusty bread.

Easy Vegetable Stock

2 carrots, chopped
2 onions, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
2 cloves garlic, whole
10 pepper corns
2-3 springs thyme
5  parsley stalks
2 bay leaves

Put all the ingredients into a large stock pot and cover with water.  Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer for 1 hour.  Strain and put into containers for later use.  Easy!

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